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School and Campus Crime PDF icon


Schools and college campuses—where young people spend part or all of their day—are often assumed to be safe places. Yet children 12 to 18 still experience and witness numerous acts of violence in their schools, negatively affecting their emotional security and education. They experience fighting, bullying, and property crimes; many students feel unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, yet they often hesitate to report harassment to school officials. On college campuses—where young people face new pressures and dangers for the first time—students experience increasing targeted violence (attacks by known or knowable attackers) such as forcible rape, aggravated assault, and robberies, as enrollment in institutions of higher learning rises.[1] The majority of crimes—which are property crimes such as burglary and motor vehicle theft—take place on campuses rather than off campus.

  • In 2010, 92,695 crimes were reported to college and university campus police. Of these reported crimes, 97 percent were property crimes, and 3 percent were violent crimes.[2]
  • Chart: Crimes reported on college and university campusesOf the violent crimes reported on college and university campuses, 53 percent were aggravated assaults, 29 percent were robberies, 18 percent were forcible rapes, and 0.2 percent were murder or non-negligent manslaughter.[3]
  • In nearly three-quarters of the incidents (73 percent) of targeted violence on college and university campuses, subjects targeted one or more specifically named individuals.[4]
  • From 1909-2008, a majority of incidents of targeted violence occurred on campus (79 percent) while approximately one-fifth were off campus.[5] When the incidents occurred inside a campus owned/operated building, more than one-half took place in dorm rooms or apartments, offices, and instructional areas (such as classrooms), lecture halls, or laboratories.[6]
  • In one study, from 1909 through 2008, there were 272 targeted violence incidents on campus. Subjects caused 281 deaths and injured 247 individuals. Of the deaths, at least 190 were students, and at least 72 were employees. Of the injured, at least 144 were students, and at least 35 were employees.[7]
  • In 2010, of the aggravated assaults reported under the Clery Act,[8] 60 percent were on campus and 40 percent were off campus.[9]
  • Of the murders reported under the Clery Act in 2010, 17 occurred on campus, and 20 occurred off campus.[10]
  • Of the sex offenses reported under the Clery Act in 2010, 88 percent were on campus and 12 percent were not on campus.[11]
  • Chart: Reported crimes, on and off CampusOf the robberies reported under the Clery Act in 2010, 41 percent were on campus, and 59 percent were not on campus. Of the burglaries reported in the same period, 95 percent were on campus and 5 percent occurred off campus. Of motor vehicle thefts, 58 percent occurred on campus, while 42 percent were off campus.[12]
  • Of property crimes, 86 percent were thefts, followed by burglaries at 12 percent, motor vehicle thefts at 2 percent, and arson at 0.3 percent.[13]
  • Hate and bias crimes reported on school and college campuses made up 11 percent of all hate and bias crimes reported in the United States in 2009.[14]
  • In one survey, 30 percent of respondents had missed at least one day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe or uncomfortable in 2009.[15]
  • In the 2007 to 2008 school year, 17 percent of all public schools reported one or more serious violent crimes such as rape, sexual battery other than rape, robbery with or without a weapon, threat of physical attack with a weapon, or fight or physical attack with a weapon.[16]
  • During the 2007-2008 school year, 94 percent of both middle and high schools reported violent incidents at school, compared to 65 percent of elementary (primary) schools.[17]
  • Chart: Nonfatal serious violent crime at school, ages 12-18In 2008, students ages 12 to 18 were victims of 113,300 non-fatal serious violent crimes at school, which was a 55 percent decrease from the number of serious violent crimes in 1998.[18]
  • In 2009, 31 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported they had been in a physical fight anywhere at least one time during the previous 12 months, and 11 percent said they had been in a fight on school property during the previous 12 months.[19]
  • In 2009, 18 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 had carried a weapon in the previous 30 days. In the same year, about 6 percent of students had carried a gun.[20]
  • For school-age youth (5 to 18) in the 2008 to 2009 school year, there were 15 homicides at school.[21]
  • In 2009, 8 percent of students in grades 9 through 12 reported having been threatened or injured with a weapon on school property.[22]
  • In 2009, 23 percent of students in grades 9 through 12—including 26 percent of males and 19 percent of females—reported that drugs had been made available to them on school property during the previous 12 months.[23]
  • Chart: Types of abuse of LBGT students at school due to sexual orientationIn 2007, 23 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported that gangs were present at their schools,[24] and 32 percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported having been bullied at school.[25]
  • In a 2009 study that included youth in grades 6 through 12, 61 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) respondents said they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and 40 percent felt unsafe because of their gender expression.[26]
  • In 2009, 85 percent of LGBT youth respondents had been verbally harassed at school because of their sexual orientation, 40 percent had been physically harassed (e.g., pushed or shoved), and 19 percent had been physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation.[27]

References

  1. Diana A. Drysdale, William Modzeleski, and Andre B. Simons, Campus Attacks: Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Education, (Washington, DC: U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education; Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, 2010) 1, 11, accessed October 18, 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/campus-attacks/campus-attacks-pdf.
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, 2010, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, 2011), calculated from data in Table 9, accessed October 18, 2012, http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl09.xls/view.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Drysdale, Modzeleski, and Simons, Campus Attacks, 9.
  5. Ibid., 13.
  6. Ibid., 14.
  7. Ibid., 11, 17.
  8. Clery Act” refers to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which requires campuses to keep records and disclose all incidents of campus crime to the federal government. The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, (Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, 2011) 1, accessed October 24, 2012, http://www2.ed.gov/admins/lead/safety/handbook.pdf.
  9. The Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool, (U.S. Department of Education), based on calculations, accessed October 18, 2012, http://ope.ed.gov/security.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Ibid.
  12. Ibid.
  13. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Crime in the United States, 2010, calculated from data in Table 9.
  14. Ibid., calculated from data in Table 10, accessed October 18, 2012, ,a href="http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/data/table_10.html" target="_blank">http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/data/table_10.html.
  15. Joseph G. Kosciw et al., The 2009 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools, (New York: GLSEN, 2010), xvii, accessed October 18, 2012, http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/000/001/1675-2.pdf.
  16. Samantha Neiman, Jill F. DeVoe, and Kathryn Chandler, Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2007–08, (Washington DC: National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education 2009), Table 1, accessed October 18, 2012, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2009/2009326.pdf.
  17. Ibid.
  18. Simone Robers et al., Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2010, (Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education; Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice, 2010), calculated from data on p. 90, accessed October 18, 2012, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2011/2011002.pdf.
  19. Ibid., v.
  20. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance—United States, 2009,” Surveillance Summaries (Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services), 59, no. 5 (2010): 45, Table 8, accessed October 18, 2012, http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/pdf/ss/ss5905.pdf.
  21. Robers, Indicators of School Crime and Safety, 2010, iii, 7.
  22. Ibid., iii, iv.
  23. Ibid., 36.
  24. Ibid., 34.
  25. Ibid., 42.
  26. Kosciw, The 2009 National School Climate Survey, xvi.
  27. Ibid., xvi.